Crew Members Report Humiliating Treatment by Security Officers in Fort Lauderdale

May 13, 2016

Holland America Line employee from the cruise ship MS. Amsterdam is rising her voice about the extremely poor treatment crew received in Fort Lauderdale on April 30, 2016. She has sent all documentation that negatively cites both American Guard employees and also Officer Santana from CBP, regarding the incident involving security guards unprofessional behavior by throwing crew luggage and screaming at them.

She wrote a letter about the humiliating and disgusting treatment our fellow crew members endured on Saturday. Here are 2 excerpts of Chief of Security for MS. Amsterdam and retired LAPD

 “ it was an unorganized mess in PEV on SAT morning. Granted, we all knew we - in transit crew - had to wait for the zero-zero count before we could go. That came late! However, from the time we arrived in the "taped off portion" on the building, it was no day at the beach starting with the "rearranging" of the lines by shore-side security starting the "hurry up and wait" process. Then those of us with either 1:00/1:30 (FLL) or MIA flights were led to the area in front of the X-Ray machine only to find out that they - once again shore-side Security - were not ready to go, so another "hurry up and wait" - I lost my temper, yeah I know not a good thing for the ship security officer - raised my voice and yelled at the two female guards at the X-Ray "Let's go, power that machine up, and get going; people have flights to catch!' The leader yelled back at me that she "was waiting for a CBP officer, or something like that". I yelled back, pointing at the large group of crew still in the first waiting area "Look at all that crew waiting". About 10 sec later, the CBP female officer, aka Adolf's girlfriend, attitude-wise" showed up and the machine was turned on”

Excerpt 2

“ there was one female security guard "lining up" us crew inside the first taped-off area initially. There were two female guards standing behind the X-Ray machine and they were ultimately joined by a female U.S. CBP agent who was the one who, at one point, "charged" back towards that first area while yelling and screaming at the crew there to "get back". That CBP agent appeared Hispanic but I did not catch her name”

Fortunately, another crew member DID take the name of the CBP officer. It is “Santana”. Officer Santana also threw crew member bag approx. 3 feet in anger.

Many passengers and crewmembers have written about the extremely unprofessional actions and attitudes that were witnessed that day, and I think you will get a much clearer picture of how serious this incident was if you read through them.

FYI- I have also contacted Ms. Karen Rech- Sr. Cruise Service Manager in FLL/PEV regarding the disgusting treatment from shore side security company- American Guard Services.

Another crew member said “the security guard who was extremely rude to several crew members but refused to provide us with her name or ID number stating that she didn't have to. However, the rudest person by far was CBP officer Santana who from what I learned from several other CBP officers is their supervisor whom they get complaints about all the time. Officer Santana is a total embarrassment for the whole CBP team in FLL and nobody should have to work under her supervision. On the other hand I want to compliment officer Soto who was extremely pleasant and professional. I hope our guests received a better treatment than we did... but crew members boarding cruise ship should be treated with the same respect.”

An excerpt from Passenger Karen Gross says “ I DID have a terrible experience in Fort Lauderdale when I arrived back in the states last fall from my long adventure. I came in the Royal Princess. We were at least 1 ½ hours late (maybe 2) waiting to get off the ship. That is a long time just waiting in the designated area for your number to be called. Once off the lines were HORRENDOUS to get through customs…….they snaked back and forth through the terminal….everytime I thought I was making progress I realized there was another twist in the snake and it was farther away that I thought. I think it was about another 1 ½ hours in this line. Anyway….it was NOT fun. My friend Ken and Fred were picking me up and I stayed there for a few days so I didn’t have a flight to catch. I probably would have missed it if I had!!”


… the lady who stopped scanning the luggage to scream and check documents of 2 Indonesian crew members

and who threw Barbara Haenni’s luggage.




Ms. Mary-Ann Isinger Manager, Port Operations

Holland America Group | Serving Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, and P&O Australia 



… this was almost 90% of the officers who irrespectively screamed and bullied crew members. Most of us mistook them for CBP… they are NOT CBP. They are security guards (with zero authority or control). They are hired to help CBP with the crowds. .

(954) 462-6907



Karen Rech- Sr. Cruise Service Manager- Broward County

Crew members posted short video of the incident involving Officer Santana.

GREAT EXPERIENCE- Karen Rech Cruise Services Manager Port Everglades Department 1850 Eller Drive, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316-4201 CELL 954-213-9096 I have spoken with Ms. Rech twice on the telephone and emailed her twice- Email #1 (I sent her ALL of our Facebook posts and comments from my original post.) Email #2 (photos at bottom of post- thanks to Christopher Spano for photos) Hi Karen I forgot to send you these 2 photos and a short video clip. The curly haired lady is the one that gave a lot of verbal abuse and refused to give us her name or badge number (in fact, she purposely covered it with her hand as you can see in the photo). We know the quality is poor on all of it, but it at least shows her face enough to identify her and her uniform can be seen (red stripe) on pants to determine who she works for. HERE IS HER EMAIL TO ME FROM MONDAY, May 9 ----------------------------------- Hello and Good Morning Debby, Thank you for taking the time to comment about your experience while at Port Everglades. Your concern under the circumstances is understandable. Please accept our sincere apology for any inconvenience you and the CREW members have experienced. We at Port Everglades take customer satisfaction very seriously. The behavior you have described is totally unacceptable and is not tolerated. After reviewing the comments, pictures/video the staff are employed by American Guard. American Guard is hired by the cruiselines. I have forwarded everything to Mary-Ann Isinger with Holland America. Mary-Ann informed me she would be discussing with the Seattle corporate office; she was also very appreciative that you did this. Below is Mary-Ann’s contact information. It is best to email her because she spends her time between Port Everglades and in Vancouver. Mary-Ann Isinger Manager, Port Operations Tampa, Port Everglades, Southern Caribbean, Northern Europe, UK, Ireland, Western Canada Holland America Group | Serving Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Seabourn, and P&O Australia +1-604-641-1288 office | +1-954-612-3760 mobile | Debby, I wanted to take the opportunity to thank you again for bringing this incident to our attention. We look forward to your next visit to our Port and fully expect that it will be a better experience. Karen Rech Cruise Services Manager Port Everglades Department 1850 Eller Drive, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316-4201 CELL 954-213-9096

Posted by Debby Bacon on Thursday, May 12, 2016